India 111th among Nations Having Women Members in Parliament

Published: 08th March 2014 02:35 PM  |   Last Updated: 08th March 2014 02:35 PM   |  A+A-

India is placed at 111 position out of 189 countries in a list prepared by an international organisation that ranks nations on the number of women representatives in parliament.

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), an international organisation of Parliaments, said in its annual analysis that more women than ever before are being elected to Parliaments around the world, with gender parity likely achievable in less than a generation if the current trend continues.

The IPU, which works closely with the United Nations, ranks countries on the number of women members in parliament.

India ranked 111th with 62 women parliamentarians sitting in its Lower House, a small 11.4 per cent of the total 545 MPs.

The Upper house of 245 MPs has 28 women parliamentarians, a 11.4 per cent of the total.

The annual analysis of statistics and trends, released yesterday ahead of International Women's Day, said there was a 1.5 percentage increase globally in Parliaments as a result of elections that took place in 2013.

"That doesn't sound like a lot, but if you consider that we are now at almost 22 per cent of women in parliaments, if we were to continue with this rate of increase of 1.5 it means that within a generation, actually within 20 years, we should be able to reach globally gender parity in Parliament," IPU Secretary-General Anders Johnsson said.

"That is something we never imagined. Rwanda led the list of 189 countries surveyed, with its lower house recording more than 60 per cent women," Johnsson said.

The report said several factors influenced the degree of women's access to parliament, with quotas being one of the main tools to facilitate women's access.

"Quotas must be ambitious, detailed and be implemented to have impact," IPU said.

UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka lauded the "record-breaking" increase by the gains made by women in political life around the world and vowed that the organisation will keep fighting gender-based bias.

"The record-breaking increase of women in national parliaments in 2013 is encouraging, but we are still far from equality," Mlambo-Ngcuka said.

"Around the world, women are excluded from parliaments by discrimination, violence, party structures, poverty and a lack of finance," she said.

The data has been compiled on the basis of information provided by National Parliaments by January 1, 2014.

As a region, Latin America recorded the highest electoral gain with women in Educador, Grenada and Argentina occupying more than 30 per cent in those three countries.

However, the US ranked 83rd and Canada was 54th. China recorded a two percentage point increase.

Nepal, with the highest percentage of women MPs in South Asia came in at just under 30 per cent.

Of the top 10 performing countries globally, four are on the African continent, which recorded a "very, very healthy increase," Johnsson noted.

Almost 20 years ago, women's participation stood at less than 10 per cent, but today that figure is 22.5 per cent.

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